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Greenpeace ‘Despicable’ To Link Whaling With Aid

World Council Of Whalers
PO Box 291, Brentwood Bay BC Canada V8M 1R3
Phone / Fax 001 250 652-8352

4 May 2001

Greenpeace ‘Despicable’ To Link Whaling With Aid

The continued attempts by Greenpeace and certain governments, such as New Zealand, to link small-scale, science-based sustainable whaling in the Caribbean to international aid is despicable, says the chairman of the Canada-based World Council of Whalers, Chief Tom Mexsis Happynook.

“These systems of international aid have been developed through years and years of dialogue, relationship building and a real need to help. It is irresponsible for Greenpeace and the Government of New Zealand to bring such an important international mechanism into the whaling debate and it should not be tolerated by those receiving benefit from international aid,” said Chief Mexsis Happynook.

“The whaling of the Island States of the Caribbean and South Pacific is, and would be,
very small-scale. It is a food, health and cultural issue and should be viewed as such. It has nothing to do with international aid.”

Chief Mexsis Happynook said that, as a First Nation person from Canada, he has witnessed the relationships between Indigenous Peoples, coastal communities and the protest industry being severed. “A proposal, such as the South Pacific Sanctuary, if implemented, will have the effect of separating us from our responsibilities to the environment and ecosystems that sustain us and which we very much depend on. It is a colonial and paternalistic strategy to keep us from taking control of our future.”

“If these organizations and governments were truly concerned about the economic and health conditions of Indigenous and coastal communities, they would not use such an important international mechanism to meet their selfish objectives,” Chief Mexsis Happynook said.

“As Indigenous and coastal whaling communities from around the world continue to strengthen our relationships amongst ourselves, as we continue to bring new communities into the family, we will continue to work tirelessly to collectively protect our human rights from those trying to separate us from our customary foods, customary health, cultural identities and much needed local economies.”

“Whale stocks around the world are showing evidence of recovery, and it is only these robust populations that are of interest to whaling peoples today. Is it not better for us to work towards independence by sustainably using our resources or continue to be dependent on foreign assistance, no matter where it is coming from. For indigenous and coastal communities the answer is obvious.”

For more information, contact:
Chief Tom Mexsis Happynook, Founding Chairman, World Council of Whalers

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